News The eye of the storm: Speakes in the White House in 1982

An assassination attempt plunged Larry Speakes into the brightest of national spotlights as chief spokesman for President Ronald Reagan. When Reagan’s press secretary James Brady was severely wounded in the 1981 attempt on the president’s life, Speakes was thrust into the eye of the storm. As White House spokesman for six years, a long tenure in the sensitive post, he was credited with 2,000 news media briefings.

Merrill Lynch delays Manhattan building project

The credit market crisis is forcing Wall Street firms to rip up even some of their best-laid plans, the latest example being Merrill Lynch's decision to postpone the building of a hi-tech skyscraper in midtown Manhattan.

AstraZeneca closes in on £600m deal for CAT

Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) is set to become the latest biotech group to lose its independence, selling out to AstraZeneca in a deal worth about £600m.

Boots blames rising interest rates for slowdown in sales

Boots sent the first signal that the retail sector had failed to bounce back after a disappointing Christmas yesterday with a profit warning that knocked 4 per cent off its share price. Just six weeks after reassuring the City that profits to the end of March were on track, the group admitted its sales growth had dried amid a wider slowdown on the high street.

Market Report: Amvescap investors make a dash for the exit

Investors scrambled to exit Amvescap yesterday amid growing worry that next week's third-quarter results from the fund management giant are set to disappoint. The latest anxiety to surround the company was caused by a note from Merrill Lynch in which the broker slashed its earnings forecasts for Amvescap. Merrill cut its estimates by 4 per cent for the current year and 9 per cent for 2005, sending shares in the fund manager tumbling 11p to 280.5p.

Banker in sex-bias case denies she was 'pampered princess'

A senior banker suing Merrill Lynch in a multimillion-pound sex discrimination case denied yesterday that she was "a pampered princess".

Market Report: 'Sell' note puts pressure on Bradford & Bingley

Merrill Lynch certainly did not pull any punches in its investment note on Bradford & Bingleyyesterday. It bluntly told investors to sell the stock and set a fair value target of 254p.

Market Report: Broker soothes fears over Kingfisher's Easter

Worries about trading at Kingfisher during the all-important Easter weekend have been exaggerated. That was the message from Merrill Lynch to its clients yesterday after a meeting with Duncan Tatton-Brown, the retailer's finance director.

Fund managers turn more bullish on shares

Club of Tigers gets ready to roar
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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game